What the FCC can do for open spectrum

What the FCC can do for open spectrum

Summary: Regulation should conform to the trends of Moore's Law and maintain maximum competition in the market.


Larry Dignan is afraid the FCC may be doing too much, just looking at possibly anti-competitive deals, trying to stay on top of the news instead of sleeping in a corner, as it did for a decade before Julius Genachowski (right) came to town.

It's a mark of just how knee-jerk the opposition to government action in markets has become, that a mere investigation can lead reporters to fingering their worry beads.

To most people it's pretty obvious why Apple shut down Google Voice. VOIP is competition with cellular minutes, just as it was competition for wired phone minutes, which it destroyed.

I'm old enough to remember the monthly chore of auditing my phone bill each month, creating expense bills for various publishers, with the cost of each call written down and photocopied. I don't do that any more. The cost is rolled into my cellular plan as minutes which neither I nor my publisher has to see.

But running phone calls -- a low bandwidth service -- over the Internet rather than the wireless network is still a cost savings, which some customers would like to capture. Only the cell phone companies don't want them to.

This is just one of many ways in which companies have succeeded in frustrating Moore's Law over this decade. There is no technical reason why the price to move bits should not be going down, going down constantly, and going down rapidly. The cost of equipment, the efficiency of technology, it's all there to make it happen.

What isn't there are competitive markets with incentives for investment and no tolerance for monopoly.

Politics has squandered the advances of Moore's Law, and it will take more than the FCC's meager politics to bring them back.

So let me offer a simple guideline. Call it Dana's Law of Technology Regulation:

Regulation should conform to the trends of Moore's Law and maintain maximum competition in the market.

It will take real changes, not just investigations, to make that happen. We need more unlicensed channels, we need wholesaling in the last mile.

Bits may not be free, but they should be as cheap as the technology creating them allows. The goal should be encouraging the market to expand opportunity, and not making anyone's life easier.

Topics: Mobility, Government, Government US, Telcos

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  • You miss the point

    You are so bent on running around waving the banner "Wireless companies are a monopoly" have you ever considered that maybe they are not?

    Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Alltel, T-Mobile, Nextell, US Cellular, Virgin Mobile, are just a handfull of the 200 or more carriers in the nation.

    Now, seeing that the investment was theirs, the advertising is theirs, the upkeep is theirs, the R&D is theirs, why should they not have a say into what should work on their networks?

    Or are you one that feels a person has every right to walk into a restaurant of their choosing, though not purchasing anything, instead bringing their own food, using only the table as they do not charge you for that?

    If a wireless carrier offers a plan with the intent of using that plan to make money from that sale, how is bypassing them on the network they created and maintaine for free of
    helpfull to them in a business sense?
    • The U.S. market is not competitive

      We have two dominant wireless carriers - AT&T and Verizon. They control the bulk of the market, and they obtained their places by taking money from regulated telephone ratepayers and using it to dominate spectrum auctions over many years.

      I have covered this beat for many years. I watched this happen with my own eyes.

      To use your restaurant analogy, most customers can only go to one of two restaurants, which control the bulk of the real estate available for restaurants nationwide.

      The electromagnetic spectrum should not be owned by Verizon and AT&T. It is ours, not theirs, and the policies that allowed these monopolies to be created can, should, and must be changed to increase market competition, to create real competition.

      Until those policies are changed, we will remain a broadband backwater.
    • "maybe they are not?" Wha.. of course they are.

      Not a monopoly? what are people smoking?!

      let's see what the definition is:
      In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos , alone or single + polein , to sell) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.

      Currently the 4 large cellular companies , AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile, most other companies scramble for the crumbs, and work with the large companies.
      My cell phone bill has NOT gone down, and most services that have competition do. My regular phone bill has gone from $125 to $35 with unlimited calling in the U.S. AND Asia.

      So, yeah, I want the FCC to take an active role in supervising the monopolies.
    • So, You Really ARE a "Drown Gubmint in a Bathtub" Right Wing Traitor, GL!

      Glad to finally have my suspicions about M$FT fanbois like you confirmed....
  • RE: What the FCC can do for open spectrum

    I couldn't have said it better myself, no matter how much I wish I had. The FCC has succumbed to all the same problems and inbreeding the other gvt offices have. It's really disappointing, even morese because I worked with them when they knew HOW to handle their jobs. Once they were more in the public's eye and the "right" people came in, things started to change - not for the better. It was so easy to see coming in hind-sight. But people don't think I'm so paranoid now.
  • RE: What the FCC can do for open spectrum

    Politics has squandered the advances of Moores Law, and it will take more than the FCCs meager politics to bring them back.<a href="http://tnxinvitationcode.wordpress.com/"><font color="white"> code</font></a>